Dáil Éireann - Volume 472 - 10 December, 1996
Written Answers. - Disabilities Report.
Miss M. Wallace Miss M. Wallace
181. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Social Welfare the implications, if any, for his Department of the report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities; and, if so, when he intends to commence addressing them. [23859/96]
Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa) Proinsias De Rossa
Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Priority Question No. 19 on Wednesday, 27 November 1996.
The main recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities in relation to the services for which I have responsibility are: the establishment of a non-means-tested payment to compensate for loss of income due to an incapacity for fulltime work, or work to full potential to be known as a disability pension. This payment would replace the existing disability allowance, invalidity pension and blind person's pension and would be extended to cover people with disabilities who are living in part-time residential settings; the transfer of administration of the domiciliary care allowance and motorised transport grants schemes from the health boards to the Department of Social Welfare; changes in the financial supports available to carers, including an extension of the carer's allowance on a means-tested basis to all carers; the achievement of the payment rates recommended by the Commission on Social Welfare as a matter of priority; and specific regard should be given by the Government within any anti-poverty strategy to combating the disproportionate impact of poverty on people with disabilities.
The report also recommends the renaming of the disability benefit scheme to sickness benefit; the retention of secondary benefits by people with disabilities participating in Government sponsored training programmes; the introduction of a standard unrestricted disabled person's public transport travel pass, which would automatically cover a companion; and the  extension of the free telephone rental allowance scheme to cover free mobile telephone rental and a number of call units free of charge for drivers with disabilities.
Dáil Éireann 472 Written Answers. Disabilities Report.